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Charlie Rose

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Us 15, America 5, David Brooks 3, David Cameron 3, New York 3, Washington 3, Brooks 2, Charlie 2, Barry Goldwater 2, Mccain 2, Glenn Beck 2, Malcolm 2, Newt Gingrich 2, Germany 2, Britain 2, Bill Clinton 2, Maureen 2, Beck 2, David Come Ron 1, Secular Ross Perot 1,
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  WHUT    Charlie Rose    News/Business.   
   (2010) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 16, 2010
    11:00 - 11:59pm EDT  

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return returns for another conversation about his take on politics and culture. >> one of the issues of these days is how much leadership matters, and how much society matters. you know, tolstoy in war and peace had a scene where they are fighting the battle and the generals are are up there on the hill and the men go down into a valley to fight and they go into a fog and the generals can't see. and the battle is just chaos. and the joke is on the generals, they think they're running society but they're not. i sometimes feel one of those moments where the president is trying to do stuff but basically the social organism is more important than the president. and the social organism is changing now. changing as we mentioned away from materialism, but maybe also in ways that are deeply disturbing of people in well educated people are not going into industry, they are going into finance and law and the media, things maybe that aren't as productive for the country. and so there is all sorts of changes in the social
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organism that for that makes the country have doubts about whether we are in decline. and i'm not sure it's all politics. >> rose: funding for charlie rose was provided by the following: captioning sponsored by rose communications
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from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: david brooks is here, he is a columnist for "the new york times". he writes about american politics, culture, ideas, science. above all he are reflects on the challenges and trends that confront america and the world. "new york" magazine recently said that brooks is better than anyone at crystallizing the questions we face, ones for which there are often no good answer as. he's also work on a book about the unconscious and the brain. i am pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> good to see you. >> rose: tell me where you have gone since the last time we talked, because as you said to me, it precipitated a larger response than any television appearance or for the most part, and half of it was about what we said in the last ten minutes of the interview. >> right. >> rose: which was about the brain. >> well, we are in the middle of a revolution of consciousness which you have
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been covering, which newspapers have been covering efing ree day. there a new story about something, this and that in brain research. and so i'm trying to figure out what it is all about. it is clearly an important pivot point in life. i guess to me the essence of it is we have inherited this story from the french revolution which is that our conscious minds are most of our minds. the conscious mind writes the autobiography of our species. >> rose: right. >> so we are used to the story and we tell the story about the way we live. we train kid dpos to go to college. we train them in reasoning skills am we give them technical skills we have a series of strategies that people learn when they go into management. how to network, how to make decisions. and that is the story of human life told from the conscious level. but the revolution of consciousness tells us that below that level there's a more important and more fundamental level and more powerful and in some ways smarter level. and so my book is a description of life and the lives of two people told from that, of that underlevel. >> rose: the lives of two people. >> yeah, i make up characters. i have fictional characters
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just so exempt few. >> rose: but tell us about what you have found out about the unconscious mind. >> a couple things are important. the first is that we're shaped in so many ways by these unconscious decisions. in trivial ways, i mention by a study by a guy in buffalo that people named dennis are disproportionately likely to become dentists, people named lawrence are disproportionately likely to become lawyers, i named my son president of the united states brooks, and that's because we have a bias toward the familiar. but in more profound ways in our moral instincts. if i see someone doing something heroic i have an immediate surge of admirationment i don't think about that. it comes upon me. so how does that come from. so that's-- that power is just something to be appreciated. like a new world, seeing society from a new world. but there are other misconceptions. some people make a distinct between passion and reason. that is a false distinction. there is no such thing as reason without passion. our passions decide what is
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important. one of the most important scientists in the spheres is a guy named antonio dimazio. >> rose: been on this show. >> part of your series. >> rose: he's coming back for other series we're doing. >> and he found people that couldn't register emotion because of brain injuries, they couldn't make decisions, they couldn't make rational decisions, mr. spoke without emotion can't tell you what is valuable ands what a not valuable. and so you have to listen to those emotional intelligence. and one of the things culture does, one of the things institutions do is educate the emotions. our emotions are in our control. we have the ability to educate and improve them, depending on how we surround ourselves. nonconsciously but indirectly. i spent some of yesterday with a fabulous kids who were active in the boys & girls club. and they were kids from broken homes, parents on crack, really terrible circumstances. but one of the things that they really had the instinct to understand, even at age 14, was that i can't turn my life around by myself. but if i get myself out of this environment, i will be
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surrounded by other influences. and they, even at 14, one of the kids left one city where his mom was and went to another city, at age 14. because he had the instinctive and correct attitude that got to surround my self-with different influences that is the power of institutions, to permeate who we where and change the way we think. and then the final think i'd mention is that we have a sense that passion is stupid and reason is smart. and that when we do-- act correctly, our reason is overwhelming our passion. and when we are stupid we are listening to our owe mention-- emotions, that is false too. sometimes emotions are just phenomenalically intelligent. one of the most cognitively difficult thing to do is buying furniture. i go into the store and i can't figure out what size it is in the room compared to my room back home. and so a scientist in holland figured out what is the best way to buy furniture. and the best thing you should do is take a look at the furniture. then distract yourself with
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something else. and then come back to the problem and make a rash decision, a quick decision. and because while you've been distracted, your unconscious has been filtering all and you will come with the right decision. so the shorthand decision is if you've got a decision with two options, then you should do the rational thing, write a list of pros and cons. if you have a decision where there are five options, ten options, 20 options, a really complicated decision, let your mind cogitate overnight and then go with your gut. >> rose: is any of this related to what malcolm glandwell wrote that book about in terms of about your first impulse is often the right impulse. >> malcolm is on some of the same ground i am though i think the thing he gets wrong in that book, and i say this with respect. a lot of people dump over malcolm but i have tremendous respect for him, is it's not first instinct. the idea that you can immediately look at something and immediately form the right decision, your unconscious needs to be educated. your unconscious needs to take time.
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when you get involved in a field, you can't just go into economics or philosophy or politics and understand it. but you do have to immerse-- immerse yourself in something. and if you immerse yourself in it then while you're studying it in random and amateur ways your mind will be able to make connections. and once you have that dense network in your mind, you will be able to come up with insights am but that does not happen quickly. it happens after long labor and attention. >> but what's amaze being it for all of us who have been involved and eric kandel has been extraordinary about this, is the complexity of it all. >> one of the things that is important to understand is that there's a complex universe down there. and that a lot is going on. when we look at color, the waves actually coming off this table, to us it just looks brown or tan or whatever. but the waves are change all the time depending on the light in our eyes and our mind is baifl determining ratio,. and it's doing advanced calculations to give us the impression that this is a
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constant color but it's not. and so the real world implication of that is the incredible power of perception. and this is relevant to what we all do when we try to understand the world. we have a sense that when we are weigh making the decision, we look at the decision. then we qal chrat what's right and wrong and then third we exercise our willpower to do what we actually set out to do. and steps to calculation and step three, willpower are the important steps. those are the complicated ones with that is wrong. step one, perception is the most important thing. you should spend more time perceiving than deciding. because as you are perceiving there is this active process going on. and most of the action is there. and so when i'm in the field of journalism, that means i have to pay special attention to how i perceive or any of us if we are in relationships or anything, the ago of perception is an act of action. seeing is an active process and a deciding process where motive, and analyzing goals,
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when i read you a story about a political argument, i can detect your he visceral reaction to that argument in about 250 milli seconds. you are perceiving and you are reacting instantaneously and everything else there is just commentary. and so that shows the tremendous power of perception and when you add all this up what we have been talking about t really does for me it's been, you know, i tell this story in the book which is i think an a proct ro fill one but i think it is a brain. they took a lot of guys and put them in a-- mchb and they ask them to look at a horror movie and describe their feelings towards their wives. and their brains in those activities are exactly the same. sheer terror in both cases. because i'm a middle-aged american guy, we just don't do this kind of stuff very well. but for me it's been a revelation in thinking about emotion. and in thinking about the social conversations happening between us. >> will what you are learning effect the way you act as a parent? >> you can ask them but i
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think i've become a little more emotionally attuned to them. and certainly appreciative of that understanding why what they do is so important to me. i think if you look at the research, so much of how our unconscious is formed is formed in those first few years. and the most important thing, you don't have to be a great parent. you just have to be good enough. there's a threshold. once are you good enough then your kids are going to be fine. showing them the mozart cds and cue cards, that's to the going to work. just be good enough. and the way you are good enough is attunement. when they register reaction, do you register it back to them do you hear them. >> rose: that you felt their reaction. >> so they understand that relationships, and human relationships are a conversation. and that if they exercise, if they say something or gesture something they will be heard. and if they have that model in their heads then when they go to school, they will think okay, teacher and i are in a conversation. coach and i are in a
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conversation. people who have that skill do much better in teenage years and do much better in life. people who lack that skill are called avoidally attached not so well. >> rose: and you like people who you think listen to you. >> if you want to be great at being a host, mimic. physically mimic whatever your guest does, do it and they'll love you. >> rose: if you are at a dinner party and you want the person next door to like you, talk about them rather than yourself. >> or touch them, touching works. i mean everything, things, is we're in an exchange. >> rose: i often ask people what is the one question that you most want answered. scientists more than any other question say what is consciousness. >> right. >> rose: that's what they want to knowness. >> right. >> and they ask it from one direction. i'm curious about the opposite question which is the other. >> rose: exactly. >> which is they say how does ideas emerge from me in
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the brain. i want to know how emotion rewires the me in the brain. there's-- either it is outgoing or incoming. somehow the brain leads to spirited and spirit affects the brain. and you know, there is a sense, this is true with some sdooinss that they are materialists. but when i look in this research it's not materialistic or secular it is magical and miraculous. people say we are out of the age of miracles but i think the fact that spirit emerges from the meet and brain i think is a miracle. and if god exists, he existeds in that little sphere. in the divine creativity it takes to take me and turn it into emotion. >> rose: if god exists that is where -- >> that is one of the things he's doing. >> rose: and dow believe god exists. >> i think so. >> rose: i think so. >> i think so. that's another show, charlesie. >> rose: take this whole conversation we've just had and put it at the centre of
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it barack obama reasons right. >> rose: well, you know, he's i guy who if you sit next to joe biden at lunch, touch you. bill clinton, touching, barack obama, no touching. >> rose: really? >> right. >> rose: is that because of his life experiences in terms of -- some people are touchers and some are not. and i don't think-- i don't buy that he's cold and unemotional. i just think he has-- he's formal. he's a formal guy. and that doesn't mean at least in official circumstances. there are other circumstances i've seen him with old friends and things like that where he's not formal. and but i think in the conduct of his dutys, he's more formal. and so do i think he has great social schools, yes. do i think-- . >> rose: great social skills. >> i do think he does. i don't buy the fact that he's superrational lone err, no, he's not. he's not that at all. but do i think over the
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course of the past year he was too much in his head or in the heads of people around him and did not have what a politician needs which is an instinctive sense of where the country is, that i do think they lacked. >> rose: why did they do it? why did they lack it? >> well, they go to the mall there are 2 million people out there on inauguration day. all the media attention. >> rose: 200,000 in germany. >> right. and so it's us. we're going to run the country. and so i don't think they understood the anxiety the country was feeling. i don't think they understood the post excess moment that we were going through and are still going through, of people feelinging that we've-- we've squandered things. we've overspent. we've spoiled ourselves. we haven't behaved responsibly. >> rose: we've lost something that is important to have, some quality that we had that made us as a country who we are. >> right. >> and a turn point which is forgotten. i guess the pastor he name was platt. >> david platt was a pastor
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at a megachurch and he said megachurches are too commercial, consumer christianity. we have to 3u8 back. and he is not the first to say that but he is part of it this moment where people are redefining what socially acceptable, the billing car, the hummer, that's no longer socially acceptable and it's part of i think a big cultural change, caused by the recession but caused by the sense that we haven't been responsible, that we've been too exsense-- excessive. and this has contributed-- . >> rose: and too materialistic, i guess. >> but not mature. and this has caused a sense which i think is really through the country and left, right and everything, a sense of peril. a sense that perhaps we're not going to be the dominant country. 65% of americans according to the "the wall street journal," nbc poll said that we are a nation in decline. 65%. and so that sense of peril was going to be resistant to change. resistant to spending. resistant to hyperactiv
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hyperactive-- activism and going to focus on that one thing. and looking back, to some extent i said this at the time t is easier looking back. i think the two big mistakes were not looking long term and saying to the country, we're in, i'm coming in office. i will do what i can to make it better right away but most of my efforts are going to be based on fixing the fundamentals of this country so our children will be better. and it may be rough for a couple of years. let's not make any mistakes about it but i'm going to work on the fundamentals. i will work on those fundamentals every day. and i think the president had a mixed message over this past year. some work won the fundamental. >> rose: do you believe he gets it now? >> well, now they're trapped. now they feel they have to talk about we're goinging to create jobs right away. while i think they know there's really nothing they can do to create jobs right away. and yet they can't, they don't feel they can say that. and so they're trapped in this bind. pretending they're going to create jobs with this or that measure. but i really think the country is ready to face the fundamentals. and then, of course, the
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other thing i think they misread was doing health care. i understand why they wanted to do health care. 39 people are uninsured but in a country obsessed about jobs, growth and the fundamentals-- i really think doing energy first would have been a smart thing. if they had done energy that allows you to spend that whole summer talking about innovation, growth, jobs. i think that's just where the country was, what it was ready for. >> rose: the interesting thing about that too, i mean clearly they thought if they didn't do health care now they would never get it done. >> right. >> rose: and everybody had tried and failed and so this would be a legacy item that they believed in. >> right. >> rose: and they believed they could do something not only about access but cost containment as well. >> right. >> rose: and they certainly failed on one. >> i certainly think so. >> rose: but what's interesting is about this president and where we are at this time is that he also, he had, he was pulled at both ends. on the one hand he was a vessel that everybody's expectations were poured into. >> right. >> rose: he seemed young, he made the country feel different. he seemed smart and he
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promised change. >> right. >> rose: so there was so much a level of expectation and hope because of the realization of what you said since the peril. this was the guy. and so he appealed to everybody. and then therefore the problems were so deep and the politics that had set in were so deep. >> right. and let's be clear. he has done some things that are going to help long-term. he has done, sometimes it is the education policy, basic research, some of the energy stuff. over the long 20 years, that's goinging to tell. and that will be important. but i do think he misread the country, misread the level of distrust of government there was in the country. he didn't understand how much that would weaken him. and i have said in before on this program, i think he gave too much power to very confrontational people in congress. the interesting question is could he have done any differently given where the republicans were. and i think somewhat. i think back if you go back to the start of the stimulus
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package a lot of republicans were nervous. didn't know where to go. and i think if they had not give sown much power to the chairman of the capitol hill they could have won over some or at least made more of an effort. they did make some effort. but once you got into the health care fight and once the polls went down, the republican party who were dead, dead, dead 18 months ago realized we're going to come back. and once they made that realization. >> rose: why do you think they realized that. >> i think once that health care summer. if you look at the polls when they shifted it was during that period. they really began to come back, the republicans began to rise. obama was sort of hanging in there and still is hanging this there fine. >> rose: the country was unsure of health care because of the cost and they had begun to have a sense that the debt, somehow, the deficit was an issue that penetrated their own sense of security. >> with its's not the tea partyers it was the independents. if you look at when with the independents moved, it was that april to june of last year. and the number of independents who said obama's too liberal rose by
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12 percentage points. the number of independents supporting obama fell i think by like 22 percentage points. so the independents shifted then during that health care summer. and that is when the republicans said we can come back. they've handed this to us on a silver platter. we're not cooperating on anything. can be for supply side tax cuts we'll be against it and they said that and to some extent-- . >> rose: does the country make a judgement about that, if someone says we're against everything that person wants to do even if it might be in the interest of the country why isn't there a common sense judgement against that attitude. >> yeah, i am not sure. i think there are some things the republicans or many republicans supported that the president then proposed like a fiscal commission which magically the republicans suddenly opposed. ruz mean the deficit commission. >> the deficit commission, yeah. but so far the country. >> rose: they have represents on it. >> right. i've looked for evidence of two things. does the country, does the fact that the country still dislikes the republicans, does that drive down republican votes this fall?
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does the fact that many people, the republicanso[ñó are nominating might be quite right of centre where the country is, does that drav down votes this fall. and so i have looked for evidence that there is some backlash against the republicans and i would have to say so far haven't seen it, ex-- except for in nevada where harry reid is running tied with sharron angle having been well behind. so but so far the republicans are not being punished for anything. the focus is all on the democrats. >> rose: which suggests to me it is all about him. >> i'm not sure it is him because he is still popular and i wouldn't bet against him. >> rose: are it would seem to me that at this time you see a perception of him in all this stuff that is there. why does it have traction. why is the idea that he's somehow a european social democrat or a socialist. >> yeah. >> rose: why does, when this is a guy who has done all these things that show you where we is. he is a pragmatist. >> i think that. >> rose: you have win this a thousand times, a
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pragmatist. >> newt gingrich disagrees but i think that. >> rose: you two have different motivations for coming. >> brains. >> rose: and two different ambitions. >> yeah. >> rose: but it's like newt gingrich said the other day that his, if you want to understand him, he's an anti-colonialist. it's all about being an anti-colonialist. >> you know, there are two things. first there is the tea party movement but then there is the independents who i think really are the important ones. the tea party people will not vote for obama in any circumstances. so what is going on with the independents. well, it fear of decline, it fear of spending. it's also, i think, there's a class issue here. i do think there are a lot of people who look at obama and the harvard and yale people in the white house, they look at martha's vineyard where he went on vacation, and it's not only obama, it's us in the media. it's those people don't live
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pie kind of life. they don't get me. the wig party in the 19th century one of its problems was they lost touch with the country. i don't think that is simply true of the democrats, it true of the republicans and democrats. people who have college degrees and people with high school degrees are in some ways living in different americas. the divorce rate is twice as high for high school degrees. the drug and alcohol addiction is much higher, obesity rates, the incomes god knows are much different. the chasm which we see socially has an effect politically. >> rose: how do you speak to that. >> well wrz dow speak to that by saying if you need a good reason for getting, for continuing education, here it is. >> right. >> rose: but how do you speak to it. how do you say this is unfair, this is unacceptable. >> well, you know, what you do is you reare inforce the value of order. i think order is a very important political value that people really treasure. >> rose: order, stability. >> stability and daily life so george bush for a while seemed more orderly, more
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secure. but when obama ran against mccain because of mccain's antics during the financial crisis obama seemed the safe and orderly one. but if are you living in a high school atmosphere where most people only went to high school, first year jobs are in peril because globalization and technology. secondly your marriage is in peril. your divorce rates, single parenthood, the number of white kids going, born to people with high school degrees with only one parent, it just skyrocketing right now it is gone up about 45%. >> rose: the number of -- >> of white kids who are in single parent homes, with a high school degree, 45%, african-american 70%. and so there is just a lot of social disorganization. >> rose: so the african-american level has been there. >> the untold story is that the whites are now going up very high. and so you are living in a disorganized environment and you want that security which everybody wants. and so one of the things the tea party does have going for it, it is sort of a
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bourge what revolt. i went to that glen beck rally in washington. they were emphasizing all the norman rockwell values of faith, value, just tradition. i'm goinging to give you a safe, orderly home. and believe me that is a powerful message of su burria, rural america and urban america. that sense of order. and if people feel that lacking and i think with the debt they felt it was lacking-- . >> rose: here is what i think about that. i think if you let somebody own that, like owning patriotism, it's a mistakement you can't let any particular political wing, right, left, center say they own the idea of patriotism or stability or value of home or respect for family. you know, if you allow someone else to think that we care more about this than you do, don't you? >> yeah, no, absolutely. >> rose: that is a failure of their perception of life. >> well, i do think they-- they looked at the economic models and did the stimulus, did the bank
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bailout, did the tarp, some of which were successful. i'm a huge fan of the tarp, by the way, the most successful and unpopular policy but when the debt rose, then i don't think, i think they understood how the economic models predicted the country would react. i don't think the economic models predicted how the populous reacted to that rise. >> rose: but this goes back to the point way back to our brain discussion. i mean politics has an emotional level beyond does it not. >> there is a guy named toderoff at princeton who shows people images of faces for i think i forget less than a s second and people can predict with 70% accuracy who will win the election. that doesn't mean -- >> what do they see. >> they see management, i don't know. but they-- . >> that doesn't mean it is stupid. people have a very complicated sense of what is going on in the candidate's mind which they can't always articulate. but they get the cultural references.
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they have a very supple sense of who's what. and think. and it is very subtle signals being sent out by the candidate by how the person walks, how they react. whether they wind surf, whether they seem angry. >> rose: wind surf suggests what? >> well, it suggests not in touch with people like me. you know, that people want harmony. and if you chase health care while i'm scared out of my mind because of pie job, well, that's a disconnect. and it may be a worthy cause. but disconnect. >> rose: but the peril that what i read is some sense of you want to transform the country into something that is alien to me. >> right. >> rose: whatever that is. >> yeah. >> rose: this is a-- and this is in some ways a bogus story. >> of course it is. >> the story that has arisen especially in the republican party and tea party movement is that we were sort of a barry goldwater country until these liberals, barack obama came on the scene and
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they want to turn us into france. the reality is that you know when the tea party movement was meeting in washington, well, george washington, the first president used industrial policy to create a manufacturing economy. that was pretty heavy government involvement. thomas jefferson bought louisiana purchase. abraham lincoln to the land grant college, government sponsored banks to spawn investment this was government activism. that doesn't mean it's socialism but this is part of the american tradition. using government to create growth. and sort of a false story has been told about some barry goldwater libertarian ideal in american history which never existed. and this is a false story that i think the republicans are telling themselves. >> rose: it also came, ronald reagan gave momentum to that too by saying you know, government is not the solution, government is the problem. >> but reagan was-- . >> rose: there is in part a government that is a problem but not all of government. you remember fritz holland used to come back and saying is he talking about the
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veteran's administration. >> right. reagan was for the new deal there a story of conservatism, you can tell by what year they want to go back to. and reagan never wanted to go back before the if you deal. some times and 23409 all but some republicans seem to want to go back to john call houn, they want to go back before the new deal to some constitutional order. and that's just not where american has been for a century and a half. and that's sort of my problem with the tea party. >> rose: if you had to write a kind of nar tougher for where the republicans ought to be and where the democrats ought to be what would it be. >> well. >> rose: in terms of the concepts and message and story that would put them on the right track. >> right. well i may have said this before but i think there are three tendencies in american politics there a liberal tendency that believes in using government to enhance equality. there a conservative barry gold watter tendency to enhance freedom, limited government and then there is an alexander hamilton
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tendency to use limited but energetic government to enhance development and social mobile to give poor people ability to rise. i think that is the great uncontested tradition in american life, or the unrepresented tradition. >> rose: people have spoke tone that have had the most success in politics. >> bill clinton, tony blair to some degree. >> you call that progressiv progressiveness. >> hamiltonianism, you can take a centrist new democrat and moderate republican, the three of us. and that's where we are, i think that's are where david cameron is. and i think that is where with the-- . >> rose: where david cameron is with the austerity program with which is an economic idea. >> getting debt to sustainable levels but it's half as you know what he calls big society. investing in social networks so people can develop human capital and grow. >> sure. >> finding organizations that can run. >> i think the republicans right now are fleeing tradition. obama is half in, half out. that tradition is either going to be seized by one party or another or and i
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say this for, you know, last year i had begun to have an inc. little that we in a preprerevolutionary circumstances which is republicans do very well, 2010. they do not work well with obama, 2011, 2012. we have utter gridlock. we're heading toward fiscal catastrophe. and for the first time in my life i thought maybe there was a chance for a third party in those circumstances. and that third party would represent that tradition. and you know, whether bloomberg or whatever you want to say and i don't know if it would win but it would be a viable tradition because it would go back to something deep in american roots, something deep and unrepresented in american politics right now. >> and that great middle is looking for something that they're not finding, that either place. >> right. >> because it's-- the republicans are saying nothing government, no government, no government. and a lot of the democrats are saying we got to tax the rich. you know, we got to redistribute money. we have to heal inequality but nobody is saying we are goinging to use government to create growth to create
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development and it's-- we're pro capitalists. the idea that the government and the market are opposites, that doesn't necessarily have to be. >> rose: it reminded me something of somebody without once said if i can frame the question i can determine the result. and if are you offered two choices of which you like neither of them but you have to choose one or the other, then --. >> keep living in america. >> rose: that's the problem. >> and this is a frustration by the way i have with with the obama administration. you get, if you are president you get to choose what debate the country is going to have. and they chose to have the big government versus small government debate. that was the one. >> rose: but they would never have acknowledged that. >> a lot of things all at once. >> but they wouldn't call it big not. they are smart enough to know that. >> but the fact is the republicans are like a tank. they know how to do one thing. they know how to attack tax increases and they know how to attack big government. and when you have a financial regulatory reform bill of 2200 pages, when you have a health-care bill that creates 230 new agencies,
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well that gives them a big fat target. that starts the big government versus small government debate and everybody falls to their preassigned places and that is the one argument republicans can do pretty well at which is why politically they are doing okay right now. >> rose: but here you looking at the way the world is have made the following judgement, one, is that it's really whether we have whatever we do about the bush tax cuts with whether we extend both of them for two years or extend them for a long time or we extend one and don't extend the other, separating between the middle class and those 250,000. your point is in the end, what has to happen is down the road soon we have to get away from whatever we need for this economy right now, which is not goinging to make a lot of difference in the long run, and do the fundamental thing. and the fundamental thing is going to require everybody knows, some action on the revenue side. >> right. >> rose: right. and the only place will you find that rev are new is the middle class, right? >> well, the rich too but yes. >> rose: but. >> if you asked me what,.
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>> rose: the rich is $700 billion and the middle class is a trillion. >> yeah. >> rose: 2 trillion so therefore if you care about the country, you should say, you should go to the country and say look, we've got to have a revenue. >> right. >> rose: increase. >> i mean one way to do that better or zag had a deal it wasn't-- orszag had a deal, an an option which is we keep all the tax cuts where they are for two years and then cut them all. get rid are of them all. >> rose: he argues that without the revenue we will never get down the deficit and agree with that. >> i agree with that if we were a country that could accept realistic painful medicine. we are not that country. >> are you prepared to say to the country we're never going to come out of the deficit unless are you prepared to raise tax. >> but i wouldn't message it that way. >> of course you wouldn't. >> but even-- you would say unless are you prepared to say -- >> i would say we are going to, i'm to the going to phrase it as pain and suffering. i'm goinging to phrase it as we are going to change the entire tax code and we're going to make it more
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efficient. part of it is probably goinging to include more revenues but part of it is going to include making it more efficient so we have just a more fundamentally sound economy going forward. and that may be a consumption tax rather than a tax on investment, but it is going to be a simpler, fairer tax that will be better for our grandchildren. but it's probably going to mean-- . >> rose: paul ryan was here, is he on the right track with what he wants to do? >> you know. >> rose: not many republicans are prepared to step forward and say yes. >> basically he is voucherizing. >> rose: medicare. >> and that is -- >> and eliminating itemized deductions. >> right there are a couple things. i think he's more on the right track than almost anybody else in congress because while he is-- . >> rose: republican or democrat. >> yeah, because he's fasd up to reality. and the reality is, the way he wants to cut, get us toward a fiscal responsibility, es aes to the all the way there but closer than anybody else, is to really cut domestic spending and entitlement spending. and that's painful and real. now do i think he's got a vision that's too
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individualistic, too much relies on vouchers, not enough collective responsibility. i sort of am bias add a little away from that i think he is too individualistic. but i do think he faced reality. >> you mentioned david come ron and the big society. you think that a new idea that has merit. you also have suggested that germany in its austerity program is on the right track. >> they did the fundamentals. >> they didn't care about a stimulus program. they said we've got -- >> the first thing is they did the fundamentals is under the social democrats, when they reform their labor markets they looked around at their country and they said what's our problem. and one of their problems was they had rigid labor markets and the social democrats said we going to liberalize that. so because they did that awhile ago, now they are a little more ready. and so they have said you know, that the germans, i once sat in a train with a german diplomat. he said your problem is you have like five year tim frames. we have 50 year time frames. >> you know k why didn't you tell us about the fall of the berlin wall back in 1949. why were you holding out on
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us. but to some degree, they are a serious country and they look at their serious problems and we haven't quite done as well as they did over the last 20 years and then when the stimulus came we tried to pump it up short term. they said no. we're goinging to stick with our long-term perspective. and it helps by the way to be a con shen-- consensus driven political culture which they have and we don't. >> does britain have a consensus driven -- >> no, sweden and denmark do, they have been okay. >> does russia. >> no, they have something else. >> the "new york" magazine wrote a piece called reasonable man by christopher beam in a world of loud voices and extreme positions david brooks manages to be a relevant and absolutely essential. you talk about a writing a column as a failure because you cannot do what you want to do in a column. >> well, you know, when you write a column you have at most three days, usually a couple of hours. when you read it the next
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day, there is always stuff would you have done differently. some days you picked the wrong topic. and so you read it and you think-- and when you have a chance, you know, i sometimes look at what michael lewis does in long form journalism and i thought boy, i wish i had the ability. >> rose: if did you that you would be wanting to have a column. >> maybe. >> rose: i would suspect. the other thing i mentioned here, "new york" magazine said that brooks is better than anyone at crystallizing the questions we face, ones for which there are often no good answers. so what are the questions that we need to face here other than the deficit. what is it beyond that, maybe it's all the things we are weigh talking approximating about, that said the essence of our cominging to grips and managing our future. >> yeah, well run one of the issues these days is how much leadership matters and how much society matters. you know tolstoy in war and peace had this scene where they are fighting a battle in the nap oleanic wars and the generals are up there on the hill and the men go down into a valley to fight and they go into a fog.
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and the generals can't see them. and the battle is just chaos. and the yoke is on the generals. they think they're running society but they're not. i sometimes feel we're in one of those moments where the president is trying to do stuff, but basically the social organism is more important than the president. and the social organism is changing now. changing as we mentioned away from materialism. but maybe also in ways that are deeply disturbing people in well wed kated people are to the going into industry they're going into finance and law and the media, things maybe that aren't as productive for the country. and so there is all sorts of changes in the social organism that for, that makes the country have doubts about whether we are in decline. and i'm not sure it's all politics. a lot of it is deem changes. >> rose: have doubts about whether we are in decline or -- >> i mean you look at, the british model is the right model to think about. which is they became a rich and very powerful country. because around about the early 19th century, a lot of
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mechanics took the findings of science and applied them to capitalism. they became a poor country because the great grandchildren of those mechanics weren't that interested in being mechanics or inventors or dirty hands. they became, wanted something more prestigious. and so the country declined as a result of that loss in commercial vigor. and maybe they went to things that are more regard i find. they got to read and write better books. >> as i think you have said or somebody said more genteel so let's put that to us where we have been. >> are we in that situation. i mean if we are in an age where you know a couple years agoing it is no longer true but 57 percent of the men who graduate from harvard went into either finance or constructing. i'm fine with finance and congress sulting but maybe by would rather prefer that they went into inventing and industry and opinion ree and building stuff. >> actually interesting thing about president obama who i haven't interviewed in a long time, but it is that
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he understands these ideas. the idea part he gets, doesn't he. he understands we need a manufacturing base of some kind. he understands the kinds of things that if you went around and talked to all those corporate executives who they say he doesn't listen to, they want him, right. >> listen. >> rose: those ideas that you and i listen to in conferences around the world. >> some days i sort of want him bloodied in the fall election because i'm sort of mad about the deficit spending but at the end of the day, does he have the long-term interest of the country at heart. yes. and does he-- . >> rose: but that say given. >> i mean he's got the right ideas. he gave a speech at georgetown awhile ago on how we changed from a more consumption driven economy to more export driven economy, all the right ideas. and in small ways he's been following through. has he been following through as obsessively as i would like, no. but he understands the concept. and so you know, he is, and if anything frustrates him, i think, it's that he has to spend some of time, some of
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of his time on the short term, he would love to do the long-term i think. my sense is, and it is just a sense, is that he feels a little hemed in, forced by short term necessity to pay attention to this or that. so i do think he and his feel, larry summers and people like that, they understood where the-- they understand where the country needs to g the need to build an export driven economy. >> rose: how much dow buy into this idea that we are, you know, that we have become politically dysfunctional. >> totally. >> rose: totally. politics and when you decide as to why that is, is it because of our institutions or is it because the nature of people who inhabit those institutions today. >> talk about a question i can't answer. the people are fine. i have lunch with them, dinner with them, i know them. as individuals they're fine. but they're trapped in a system that somehow frustrates reasonable behavior, that makes them polarized. it makes them distrust, the tremendous level of distrust is not to be underestimated. the tremendous level of
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ignore ang about people on the other side. so something is wrong in the space between our politicians. now how did that build up t built up gradually over time. and so i think that, why i'm so pessimistic and which why i think we will have a financial crisis within ten years is they don't have the trust to solve our fiscal problem. and so how did that come about. well, it had a thousand fathers. and it's a very complicated problem. how did we get out it, it is hard to know. >> rose: if obama had that potential, the other side did not want to give him the benefit of the doubt and to trust or did he do things, did they have that, were they open and did they turn. >> right. obama i think, certainly people in the administration would say they never were going to be, the party has changed. the republican party. they always say to me it is not the party they think it is. they are stonewalled. >> rose: are they right. >> they are right at least half but i don't think more so i do think if you create the climate where you do things that are semi
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acceptable to the republican party. let's take a more concrete example. stimulus package. the republican, the democrats came out with a bill, about $800 billion in the beginning. the republicans, mccain had a bill i think $470 billion. senator martinez had a bill $700 billion. not totally far apart. the difference is what is in it. say you had gone to a payroll tax holiday which is to you being talked about in the white house. a lot of republicans couldn't say no to that you get your step, yourself off on the right footing where you are sort of on the same page. instead what happened was david obi and the house appropriations committee really had significant control and they took every democratic spending idea that had been flown around for 30 years and threw it all in there. >> rose: why would they do that. >> because they believe in the policies, to be fair. and b, this is the way congress had run. when the republicans were in charge, especially in the house, it's my way or the highway. >> rose: it is injure judgement the estimate luck-- stimulus program work
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worked or didn't work. >> i think made things better than it would have been but i do not think it worked as well as the models predicted. the models originally predicted and 8%, and then even the models that were used this summer-- . >> rose: don't most of the economic studies show that there was benefit from the stimulus program. >> well. >> rose: your question is how do you measure it relative to what might have been. >> as laypeople we have to think how good are these models. if you is have a model where you throw in same $800 billion and assume a multiplyer of 1.4, well then you get a number of 3.5 million jobsment but how good is that assumption. and historically it's been good, if the country is scared ot of its mind, and if businesspeople are scared out of their minds, well, it doesn't matter how much you throw in, they are not going to grow. so i think the stimulus helped to some degree but not nearly as much as the administration says because they misunderstood the psychology of the country, which is all about fear and doubt and peril. >> rose: but could a stimulus program that plaintiff sized infrastructure, that the
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president is now talking about, focus on energy, focus on infrastructure, focus on those things have been successful if it was not 800 billion, but was a trillion three which is what the original proposal was. >> it could have been successful but not as a stimulus program. >> rose: so you are saying you don't believe in the politic of america in 2010 a stimulus program had a bit of chance having a deep and penetrating is success. >> i think because of the fear that, you had to concur that fear to get people, the animal spirits going. i also came away. i entered this crisis with the belief that if you are talking being short-term economic change monetary policy works, fiscal policy usually doesn't. i end this or we're in the middle of a fiscal situation, the recession. i still think that. more than ever. >> rose: monetary policies and -- >> if monetary policy could change quarter-to-quarter. >> rose: what do you do,. >> right, that's the problem. you have the floor.
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>> listen, government can't do thefering. we've got to get over the sense that the president can flick a switch. >> rose: i just came back from britain. i know a fair amount about what they want to do with big society. it doesn't sound like it's going to have a pervasive, to me, when you listen to them. >> they talk about it's almost like people will understand that if they work hard things will be better. >> right. >> they will take care. >> it sounds more, more and this is from both david cameron and from george osborn. is a big idea that they like. >> right. >> but i don't know how much of it is simply saying to people a communication to people their program is simply communicating that there is a role to be played, for institutions other than government. >> is that where you get it. >> rightment but i think one of the things they do create government to create, to strengthen the social fabric so kids are raised in homes and at mos fear where they develop their human capital. and that takes 30 years to tull fill it self but if you go from a nurse family
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partnership at home to early childhood, to a boys & girls club to a academy to a mentor program, that's going to be a lot better than the status quo and the cum lative effect of those relationships are going to develop your human capital and you will be a richer country 50 years down the road. and that's my message is that these things take time. i'm for a big infrastructure program but i don't think it's going to stimulus us next quarter or would have if we have done it before because these things take time to put together. one of the ideas i'm excited about is being worked on the brookings institution is getting clusters. if you look a at where clothe happens in silicon valley it is usually because there are clusters of an industry, of people doing the same sort of thing. and there are ways government can through infrastructure ensure those clusters. in a biotech companies. and so that's one way, it's not government controlling. but setting an atmosphere where innovation can happen. encouraging. if you don't have interstate highway system did that the railroad system did that before. and so there are things
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government can do and we should be doing but these are long-term projects and let's not think we can spend our way to prosperity. >> you can make the point that what we are talking about is this president's inability to somehow communicate the thing that he was valued most for and speeches that gave him the meteoric rise to national prompt sense. >> i rarely think anything is a messaging problem. >> rose: i don't either. >> in other words, if people say we would be better off if we would be better kpun caters or better marketers you say wait a minute, look at the concept. >> he is a fine communicator, john bayne certificate no winston churchill so i don't think it's that i think when people saw all those policies being changed all at once, they pulled back. and once they pulled back. >> rose: were they right to do that in your judgement. >> they were. >> rose: too much too soon is not good. >> people go on-line and read articles by william galston who is clinton's domestic policy advisor now
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at the brookings institution. read what he was writing at the transition, the level of distrust. the need to build trust in government back slowly. i think he understood where the country was and i don't think enough people did. >> rose: this big thing you went to see with sarah palin and glenn beck, what were your impressions. >> well, it was actually a very warm and friendly event. >> rose: but it was about god and family. >> there was no politics. >> rose: a lot about god. >> plenty of religion and i was struck because a lot of the talk had been tea party people are secular ross perot types but when beck and others were talking about jesus there was great enthusiasm. >> rose: but that message is the country has to go back to god, is it not? >> with the message is we are we have traditional old-fashioned values, that is just you have been with, you have your trust in, and we're getting back to that. and it wasn't political as we've strayed the country strayed. beck has had personal problems. we're getting back to what counts on us. >> rose: glenn beck understands, certainly emotion and certainly understands. >> he's a weird mixture of
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traditional values, sort of '60s radical wild eyed politics, new age, narcissism, identity politics, self-pity. he is weird mixture of old values and sort of some of the worst of new culture. >> rose: in a new mix. >> yeah, he is not an entir entirely-- he's a fascinating amall gum of the good and the bad in american culture. >> rose: how long will you do this? >> i used to think five years and i'm out, it seems easy and maybe it is easy but it's hard to. come up with a column every three days, three and a half days. >> rose: you don't have a particular beat, tom friedman has a beat. >> he actually knows what he is talking about. >> rose: and maureen doesn't either but. >> that is what she does. i don't know, i hope people appreciate at heart what maureen does to be that witty and clever and that perceptive three days. it's easy to write the columns i do. what she does is really hard.
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>> rose: you know what is the most amazing thing about her for me is her capacity to create the perfect ending line. she has more of a gift for a last sentence than anybody i know. >> that's a good point. i hadn't thought about that. first sentences are famously important. i actually try to read, it was great first sentences was orwell. i sometime goes back to get the rhythm of his first sentences. but i don't know how-- i will die at age 50. >> rose: i hope not. thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: david brooks for the hour. thank you for joining us. see you next time. on the next charlie rose a conversation about law, the supreme court and the constitution. with associate justice of the supreme court steven bryer. join us. >> with its's up to others to say whether decisions are liberal or conservative. it is up to me to try to get
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the decision as best i can, a correct decision. and if you want to know this isn't meant to be necessarily about me but i think the easiest way for me to try to get other people to understand what we do on the court is for me to go back over my decisions as i've done, and say are there some general approachs that explain how i have reached decisions in different areas. and that's what i have set down and i think a person who reads that will come to the conclusion. >> i'll get that out of this book. >> i hope. >> i will get a sense of the framework in which you have come to make the decisions. >> yes. >> which isn't the only possible
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